Sidor som bilder

sense, and would bear the examination of all persons. The miracles which the church of Rome boast of will not bear the examination of our senses; their great miracle, Transubstantialion, is so far from being obvious to sense, that it contradicts the sense and reason of mankind, and is the greatest affront to human nature that ever the world was acquainted with. And our Saviour's working this and many other miracles on the sabbath-day, was for the testification of the miracles to all persons that would take notice of them. Observe, 5. How unjustly the Jews tax the cripple that was healed with the breach of the sabbath, for taking up his bed and walking on the sabbath-day; whereas the law only forbade carrying burdens on the sabbathday for profit, in way of trade: but this man's carrying his bed, was a testimony of God's goodness and mercy towards him, and of his gratitude and thankfulness towards God. Hypocritical and superstitious persons oftentimes pretend much zeal for observing the letter of the law; little respecting the moral sense and signification of it. Besides, our Saviour has a mind to let the Jews know that he was Lord of the sabbath, that he had power over it, and could dispense with it as he thought good. Observe lastly, The great modesty and humility of our blessed Saviour; how hateful all ostentation and vain-glory was unto him; for having wrought this famous miracle before the people at a public time, the feast of the passover, to shun all applause from the multitude he conveys himself privately away from them: Jesus conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Our Saviour's business was to do much good, and make but little noise: he sought not his own glory.

14 Afterward Jesus flndeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

These words are our Saviour's seasonable advice and counsel to the poor impotent cripple, whom lie had miraculousty restored to health and soundness. Whence observe, I. The person admonishing, Je. sus; he that had been his physician before, is his monitor and teacher now: Behold, thou art made whole; sin no more. O how much it is the duty, but how seldom the practice, of those whom God makes

instruments for recovering bodily health, to put their patients in mind of their obligations to thankfulness and new obedience! Thus did our Saviour here. The recovered man's physician gave him instruction; his healer became his monitor: Sin no more. Observe, 2. The person admonished, the recovered cripple: Thou art made whole: But what was he? not a disciple, not a believer: for he that was healed wist not who Jesus was, vei. 13. he knew not Christ, therefore believed not on him, and yet was healed by him. Thence learn, That there are many outward mercies and common blessings, which Christ bestows upon those that have no spiritual knowledge of him, or saving acquaintance with him. The man that was healed, -oiit not who he was that healed him. Observe, 3. The place where Christ meets this his recovered patient; not at the tavern, but in the temple, returning thanks to God for his recovered health: when God sends forth his word and healeth us, it is our duty to make our first visit to God's house, and to pay our vows in the great congregation, and sound forth the praises of our great and gracious Deliverer. Observe, 4. The circumstance of time when Christ found him in the temple; soon after his recovery. Afterward Jesus findeth Atm in the temple. We must not be clamorous and importunate to receive mercies, and dumb and tongue-tied in returning thanks; but make haste, and not delay the time to pay our acknowledgments to him that healeth us. Observe, 3. The admonition itself: Behold, thou art made whole; sin no more, lest a -worse tiittg come unto thee; where our Saviour admonishes him of the greatness of the mercy. Behold, thou art made whole; and subjoins a cautionary direction, Sin no more. Where it is necessarily implied, that sin is always the deserving, and oft-times the procuring, cause of a person's affliction and calamities; and that the best and surest way to prevent the return of judgment and calamities to a person, is for a person to return no more to sin; Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee: where A is farther implied, that Almighty God ha* sorer plagues and severer judgments in store for those sinners who go on obstinately in a course of sin and rebellion against God, notwithstanding all the signal rebukes of his avenging anger. From the whole, note, That when the Lord doth graciously heal a person or a people, it is

a mercy to be much observed, and thankfully acknowledged.

15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus which had made him whole. 10 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay nim, because he had done these things on the sabbath-day.

After the man understood who his healer and benefactor was, he went and told the Jewish magistrates it was Christ that had healed him. This be did, not with any evil design, no doubt, to inform against him, and stir up the Jews to persecute him; but desirous to publish what Christ had done, to his honour, and to direct others to make use of him. Learn thence, That it is the duty of all those wlio have experienced the power and pity of Christ themselves, to proclaim and publish it to others, to the intent that all that need him may experience help and healing from him. This seems to be the poor man's design: but behold the blindness, obstinacy, and malice of the Jews, who persecuted Christ, and sought to kill him for doing good, and healing a cripple that had been thirty-eight years so: Therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him. Yet observe the cloak and pretence they have for their malicious persecution of our Saviour; namely, the supposed violation of the sabbathTday: They sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath-day. Learn hence, That great cruelty against Christ and his members has always been, and still is, masked and disguised with a fair pretence of zeal for God and his commands. The Pharisees mortally hated our Saviour; therefore they cover their malice, and traduce him as a profaner of the sabbath, and seek to take away his life.

17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

From this verse to the end of the chapter, we have our Saviour's apology for his working the foregoing cure on the impotent man on the sabbath-day. - And the chief argument he insists upon, is drawn from his unity and equality in nature and operation with his Father: As the Father worketh, says he, so I work. Here he speaks of himself not as a servant, or instrument in the Father's hand, but as the fellow-worker with the Father, both in the works of creation,

and in the works of providence and preservation also. Learn hence, l. That though Almighty God has long since ceased from the work of creation, yet not from the work of preservation. My Father worketh hitherto; not by creating new kinds of creatures, but by upholding and preserving what he has already created. Learn, 2. That Christ the Son of God, is joined with and undivided from the Father in working. As the Father created all things by him, (not as a man, and as an instrument in his Father's hand; for then he was not such,) but as his fellow-worker, being equal in nature and power with the Father; in like manner as the Father preserveth, sustaineth, govemeth, and upholdeth all things, so doth Christ; the Father's actions and his being the same. My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also, that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. 19 Then answered Jesus, and said unto them. Verily, verily, I say unto you. The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

Observe here, The Jews, instead of being satisfied, were the more enraged; not only because he had violated the sabbath (as they pretended) by healing the cripple on the sabbath-day, but because Christ had asserted, that God was his Father in a peculiar manner, and made himself equal with God. Our Saviour therefore goes on to assert his equality and conjunction with the Father in his operations and workings; which does at once justify his work on the sabbathday, and prove him to be truly and really God. Now our holy Lord, to prove himself equal with God the Father, produces first many arguments, to ver. 31. and then alleges the testimony of many witnesses to the end of the chapter. Our Saviour's first argument to prove himself equal with the Father in essence and nature, is this, that the Father and he are equal in operation, in will and consent for working; that the Son doeth all that the Father doeth, and the Father doeth nothing without the Son, ver. 19. The Son can do nothing of himself; that is, as Man, as the Messias, and as Mediator, he could do nothing of himself. His perfect obedience to, and compliance with the will of, his Father that sent him, would not suffer him to do any thing without him; but as God he could do all things of himself. Learn hence, That it is an undeniable proof that the Father and Son are one in nature, essence, and being; in that they are inseparable and undivided in operation and working: What things soever the Father doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise; and the Son doeth nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: therefore Father and Son being equal in operation and working, are equal in nature and being; and, consequently, both essentially, truly, and really God. Therefore the Arians of old, and the Socinians at this day, are wide when they produce this text, The Son can do nothing of himself, to prove that Christ is not equal with God the Father. They forget or neglect to distinguish between his divine nature, which could do all things, and his mediatorial office, which could not do but what the Father that sent him had appointed him to do.

20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

The second argument which our Saviour produces to prove his unity in nature, and equality in operation, with the Father, is drawn from that special love which the Father beareth to the Son ; which inclines him to communicate all things to him by a divineand ineffable communication. Learn hence, 1. That God the Father loveth Jesus Christ his Son, with an essential, natural, and necessary love, as being the substantial Image of himself, and the splendour and brightness of his glory. The Father loveth the Son; that is, with an essential, eternal, and ineffable love. 2. That the Father's love to Christ was communicative; the Father communicated his essence and nature, his wisdom and power, for operation to the Son: The Father sheweth the Son all things that himself doeth; namely, by a divine, inconceivable, and unspeakable communication.

21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

A third argument proving Christ to be God, and equal with the Father, is here produced ; namely, his raising of the dead: he is joined with the Father in that work, and equal with him: As the Father quickeneth whom he pleaseth, so doth the Son quicken whom he will: that is, not as the Father's instrument, but as a principal Agent, by the same authority, with the like absolute freedom of will which the Father uses, being a sovereign and independent being as the Father is: As the Father raiseth the dead, and quickeneth them, so the Son quickeneth whom he will. This is more than ever was said of any prophet or apostle, that he did such works at his will. Learn hence, 1. That quickening or raising of the dead, is an act of omnipotence, and proper to God only: The Father raiseth the dead, and quickeneth him. 2. That Christ's power to raise the dead as well as the Father's, is a proof of his equality with his Father, and an evidence of his being truly and reallv God: The Son quickeneth whom he xsiil.

22 For the Father judgeth no man: but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which bath sent him.

A fourth instance of Christ's godhead, and proof of his equality with the Father, is, that it is his work to judge the world: The Father, says Christ,judgeth no man .that is, no man without me, but all men by me, to this intent that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father: i. e. honour him with the same faith, love, fear, worship, that is doe and payable to God the Father. Hence learn, 1. That Christ, as God, hath the absolute power of life and death, of absolution and condemnation, which he executes m conjunction with his Father. 2. That having this power of judging the world with the Father, doth show that the same glory is due to him, which is due unto the Father. All men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. 3. That such as pretend to honour Christ, but deny hun to be God, equal with the Father, withdraw the highest honour from him; and such as withdraw the honour from the Son, deny it to the Father, who will not be honoured but in and through honouring of the Son. This text speaks dread and terror to the Socinians, who pretend to honour Christ, but not with the same honour with which they pretend to honour the Father. In God's account they honour him not at all: For he that honourcth not the Son, konoureth not the Father. True, they pray to Christ, and give him divine worship, though they believe him to be a creature; but what is this but idolatry, to worship that which by nature is not God, and to do that to a creature which God requires to be given to himself, having said, My glory will I not give to another? ha. xlviii. 2. Divine honour can be only due to a divine person; that is, to him that is God blessed for ever.

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death l'.nto life. 25 Verily verily, I say unto you. The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 20 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself: 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

Here we have a fifth evidence of Christ's godhead, and equality with the Father, namely, that he is the Author of spiritual and eternal life to all that believe on him. He that hath a fountain of life equal with the Father, and communicated to hun from the Father, is God: but Christ hath this, ver 26. For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself. Again, he that hath authority to execute judgment upon angels and men, is God; and Christ hath such authority, ver. 27. He hath given him authority to execute judgment. Farther, he that with his voice quickenelh and makcth them alive that hear it, is God; and Christ doth this ver. 25. The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and live. The dead; that is, 1. The spiritually dead; such as are dead in trespasses and sins: these, bearing the voice of Christ in the ministrv of the word, shall live a life of

grace on earth, and a life of glory in heaven. 2. Such as are corporally dead also; these are likewise quickened and raised by Christ as God. Learn hence, 1. That God the Father hath communicated to Christ his Son a power to quicken and enliven such as are spiritually and corporally dead. 2. That the Father's communicating this power to the Son argues no inequality or inferiority in the Son, but he hath the same life infinitely, independently, and equally with the Father; as the Father hath it, so hath the Son: the Father hath it in himself, and so hath the Son also: therefore the Son as well as the Father is essentially and truly God. 3. Others, by the dead, understand those whom Christ raised from the dead, when he himself arose. When many of the bodies of the saints arose with him, Matt. xxvii. it being said, The hour now is, Sf-c. Dr. Whitby.

20 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Our Saviour finding the Jews amazed and astonished at his declariug his sovereign and supreme authority and power to quicken and raise whom he pleased from the dead, doth in these verses assure them, that there should be a general resurrection, and an universal day of judgment, both of the righteous and the wicked, and a future distribution of rewards and punishments in another life, according to men's actions here in this life. All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth. Here observe, 1. The certainty and universality of the resurrection of the dead declared: The hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall come forth. Observe, 2. The powerful and efficacious mean by which this great and sudden change shall be effected and accomplished in the morning of the resurrection; namely, the omnipotent voice of Christ; All that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth. 3. Here are the different ends of the resurrection declared, according to the difference of persons which shall then be raised, Good and Bad; Those that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation. Learn, 1. That there shall certainly be a resurrection of the body. 2. That all in the graves shall be raised, though not all alike: the wicked shall be raised by the power of Christ, as their Judge; the righteous shall be raised by virtue of their union with Christ as their Head. 3. According as men live in this world, and go out of it, so will they be found at the resurrection, without any change of their state; there will then be only two sorts of persons, good and bad. All that have done good, how small soever the degree of their goodness have been, shall be rewarded ; and all that have done evil, shall be everlastingly punished; for all persons shall be eternally happy, or intolerably miserable, in the other world, accordingly as they manage their deportment and behaviour in this life: They that have done good shall go, cfc.

30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear 1 judge; and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Here Christ declares to the Jews, and in them to all mankind, that they might assure themselves his judgment would be exactly righteous, because he had no private will or power of his own, contrary to or different from his Father. Learn hence, That the Lord Jesus Christ being the same in essence and nature, in power and operation, with the Father, had no private will or interest of his own, but acted all things as God, in coordination with the Father; and as man in subordination to him: I can of mine own self do nothing: that is, neither as God nor as Mediator; not as God, for God the Father and Christ being one, equal in power, what one person did, the other doth, not as a Mediator, for so Christ finished the work which his Father gave him to do; the will of the Father and the will of Christ being both one. As Christ was sent by his Father's order, so he was altogether guided by his Father's will, wherewith his own exactly concurred.

31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. 32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the w itness which he witnesseth of me is true.

Our blessed Saviour having produced these five foregoing arguments to prove

his unity in essence, and his equality in power, with the Father, comes now to the end of the chapter, to produce several testimonies for the proof of it ; and the first of them is the testimony of God his Father: There is another that heareth witness of me, whose witness is true. Now toe Father had lately at Christ's baptism, by a voice from heaven, declared him to be his beloved Son in whom he was well pleased; which illustrious testimony, given to Christ, they had not regarded. Learn hence, That as Christ came into the world in obedience to his Father, and to bear witness to him; so did the Father honour him, and bear witness of him, and his testimony concerning his Son is undoubtedly true, and to be depended and rested upon; for we make the Father a liar, if we do not depend upon the record which he hath given of his Son.

33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. 34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.

The second testimony to prove Christ to be the Messias, was that of John the Baptist. We read, John i. 19. how the Jews sent to enquire of him, Whether be were the Christ, or not? and he denied it, and pointed at Jesus, saying Behold the Lamb of God; yet would not the Jews ahide by this testimony of John concerning the Messias. Nevertheless, says Christ, / receive not testimony from John; that is, " John by his testimony added nothing to me: I was what I was, and I ant what I am, before John testified of me, and since." Learn hence, That the divinity of Christ's person, and the verity of his doctrine, needs no man's testimony for the confirmation of it, being sufficiently confirmed by Christ's own authority, and his Father's testimony: / receive not testimony from man: that s, "I need it not, I desire it not upon my own account, but upon yours only, that upon the credit of John's testimony ye might believe in me, and be saved by me: Thescthings I say that ye might be saved."

35 He was a burning and a shining light; and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

Observe here, John's character, and the people's carriage. 1. John's character; he was a light, a burning and a shini'g light: he had in him a light of knowledge, to enlighten, direct, and comfort others:

« FöregåendeFortsätt »